Crisis in Gaza

Gaza - PMRS - Mobile clinic, village in Khanyou. Credit: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam
A mobile clinic bringing healthcare to some of the poorest communities in Gaza.

After seven years of Israeli blockade, 1.8 million Palestinians continue to be trapped in the Gaza Strip, largely cut off from the outside world.

One year on from the onset of Operation Protective Edge life for many people in Gaza is getting worse. There has been virtually no reconstruction, there is no permanent ceasefire, no meaningful peace talks, and the blockade is still firmly in place.

The humanitarian needs remain enormous. Gaza has witnessed its worst destruction in decades and an already vulnerable civilian population has been left even more vulnerable.

More than 100,000 people (more than half of these children) have had their homes destroyed and are still displaced. Most of the water supply is unsafe to drink and there are power cuts of 12 hours a day. Restrictions on essential building materials mean that rebuilding homes has yet to begin.

The blockade prevents most people from leaving Gaza or trading with the outside world and markets in the West Bank. Fishermen and farmers are restricted from accessing their land and often shot at while working. The economy has been devastated, with more than 60 per cent of youth now unemployed - the highest rate in the world.  

More than 300,000 children and youth were left extremely traumatized by the conflict - many of them lost relatives, homes and live in daily fear of renewed bombing. Last year's conflict will affect an entire generation of Gaza for years to come.

Oxfam condemns all violence against civilians. A permanent ceasefire, accountability of all parties for ongoing violations of international law, and an end to the Israeli blockade are needed urgently.

The blockade of Gaza

  • The blockade - now in place for eight years - has devastated Gaza's economy, left most people unable to leave Gaza, restricted people from essential services such as healthcare and education, and cut Palestinians in Gaza off from those in the West Bank.
  • More than 40% of people in Gaza - 67% of youth - are now unemployed and 80% of people receive aid.
  • Many key industries, such as the construction industry, have been decimated as essential materials are not allowed into Gaza. Of the 19,000 homes left in need of reconstruction by last year’s hostilities, not one has been rebuilt.
  • Exports recently fell to less than 3% of their pre-blockade levels, with heavy restrictions on the transfer of agricultural produce and other goods to Palestinian markets in the West Bank.

What Oxfam is doing in Gaza

Working with partners, our humanitarian and development work helps around 700,000 people in Gaza affected by the crisis and impoverished by the Israeli blockade.

We provide safe water, rebuild damaged water systems and improve sanitation facilities across much of Gaza.

With the World Food Programme, we run a food voucher project that ensures 60,000 people have enough to eat and supports the local economy. 

We work with farmers and fishermen who are prevented from accessing their livelihoods, and support a hospital and mobile clinics to provide primary healthcare.

We help local producers improve the quality of their produce and get it to market, and we help local civil society to advocate for their rights.

We campaign for lasting peace and security for all civilians and an end to the blockade.

Our work in Gaza is supported by numerous donors. These include: ECHO, DFID, DEC, Danida, WFP, SIDA, DFATD, the Italian and Belgian governments and Oxfam's public appeals around the world. 

Updated 3 July 2015

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